THE absence of the new York & District ARL Player of the Year from the squad that takes on York City Knights next week is the clearest indication he is to officially be handed trialist forms at the League One club.

The Press revealed a month ago that Knights boss James Ford was keeping tabs on "one or two" local amateur aces - with Heworth playmaker-in-chief Liam Jackson almost certainly one of them.

The fact he has not been picked in the District squad, but is available to play, suggests he will instead turn out for the Knights that night to kick off a one-month trial period.

The same goes for York Acorn youngster Matt Chilton, another notable absentee from Leigh Paul-Rientoul's 21-man rep team.

Ford, who watched both players in the recent East v West 'State of Yorigin' trial match, had said: "I was impressed with a number of people in 'State of Yorigin' and we're considering inviting one or two down for a trial during our pre-season.

"We can also have a look at them in this pre-season fixture, too, featuring either for us or against us."

Asked specifically about Yorkshire county player Jackson, named the Player of the Tour when York & District went to the Ukraine this year, Ford said: "He looks like a player with a really athletic build, like a modern-day rugby league player with a similar physique to a Brad Hey or a Joe Batchelor.

"When I've seen him play he seems to be an intelligent footballer and he puts himself in good spaces, having a good awareness of what's around him.

"Obviously there will be stuff to improve on but if we get chance to spend time with him one-on-one we will go through that. The ball will be in his court, but on the face of it he has got something."

The District team are also without New Earswick half-back Liam Gargan due to work commitments, former Heworth and Acorn playmaker Lewis Brown, who is going to Australia, and Acorn forward Reece Rushworth, who is unavailable.

It is hoped Leeds Rhinos youngster and Knights threequarter George Elliott, of Heworth, will be available to face his former employers.

York & District squad: Mark Hayes, Joe Deighton, George Elliott (all Heworth), Bobby Smith, Ewen Coverdale, George Hunt (all New Earswick), Liam Watling, Jon Cambridge (both York Lokomotive), Tom Hill, Jack Byrnes, James Bromwich, Jordan Potter, Elliot Bulmer, Adam Endersby, Antony Chilton, Mark Sanderson, Brandon Harris, Matty Downes, Tim Stubbs, Tim Elliott (all York Acorn), Tom Fitzsimmons (Brotherton Bulldogs).